Making ice cream with liquid nitrogen and untying shoelaces using maths are just some of the interactive activities bringing science to life at the University of Sydney's STEM Day of Inquiry this week.
Amid calls from incoming Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel for new teaching methods in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to equip students for the jobs of the future, the event will see 330 year 9 students from 11 schools across western Sydney gain a hands-on experience of science in action.
The STEM day encourages students to continue studying maths and science into higher education, with presentations by renowned mathematics commentator Dr Clio Cresswell and science personality Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.
The immersive educational day will also provide guidance to students on the subject choices available at university and how to prepare for STEM-related careers.
As part of the inaugural STEM Fair at the event, students will join sessions on:
Other highlights from the STEM Day of Inquiry program include:
The event follows the announcement earlier this year of a generous $1 million gift to the University of Sydney from Mr Roger Massy-Greene (BSc '70 BE '71) and his wife, University Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM (BEc '76) to improve the teaching of STEM subjects in disadvantaged schools.
The gift, which was pledged as part of the University's Pave the Way fundraising initiative in September, will provide scholarships to recruit the University's best STEM graduates into the Master of Teaching program, in the hopes of raising the number of highly-qualified STEM teachers and increasing the number of high school students from disadvantaged schools taking on these subjects at senior level.
The STEM Day of Inquiry is presented by the University of Sydney's Compass program in collaboration with the University's Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment and Faculty of Architecture and Design, in conjunction with Young Scientists Australia.